After each game this season, we’ll be taking a look at what the four factors have to say about the game– how the winner won and the loser lost. For an intro to the four factors, see A Layman’s Guide to Advanced NBA Statistics.
Knicks lose to Clippers, 81-84
Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr NYK 94.0 86.2 35.2% 29.6 35.3 21.3 LAC 89.4 39.4% 20.0 24.1 14.9
A few days ago after the miserable Miami loss, I lamented that it would be a small miracle if the Knicks held another opponent below 90 points per 100 possessions all season. Lo and behold, they did it again tonight. Unlike the Heat, the Clippers are not pushovers on offense– coming into the game they ranked 13th in the league at 107.3 points per 100 possessions. The Knicks held their eFG% below 40% and limited one of their offensive strengths, scoring from the free throw line.
However, just as in the Miami game, the offense once again failed the team. It wasn’t all bad. The offensive rebounding was exceptional, and New York had a good presence at the free throw line as well. But those good performances were offset by an awful 35.2 eFG% and an unacceptable but increasingly familiar TO rate north of 20 per 100 possessions.
What makes this one frustrating is that the poor shooting and ball handling included a bevy of blown layups and carelessness with the ball that could and should have been averted. Jamal Crawford was called for 2 carrying violations, adding to what must be his league-leading figure. New York completed the trifecta of unconscionable turnovers you’ll never even see in a high school game when Zach Randolph inexplicably handed Jamal Crawford the ball after a made Clippers basket rather than passing it. Eddy Curry checked in with a 3-second violation or two, though again he managed to keep his total respectable with only 2. When Eddy Curry is shaping up to have a career year in terms of limiting his turnovers and your team is still flirting with 20 TOs per 100 possessions, your team has problems.
Take one good sign away from this game– it was a good defensive performance against a team that isn’t merely inept on offense. If the Knicks can minimize their weakness and be something like the 20th placed team in defensive efficiency rather than the 26th, that is already a huge improvement. But again, to really go places they must be able to maximize their strength and consistently perform on the offensive end, where they do at least have the potential to be among the league’s better teams.
4 factor stats were acquired using the ESPN4Factors script by Cherokee of the ABPRmetrics board. Firefox users can use this script (after installing the Greasemonkey extension) to see 4 factor stats automatically displayed in all NBA boxscores on espn.com.